People gathered at St. Joseph's Medical Center's Chapel Monday for a dedication of a icon of St. Joseph.
Sister Mary Charles McGough, a Benedictine Sister of the St. Scholastica Monastery, was asked to paint an icon of St. Joseph for the hospital chapel.
McGough painted the icon, which was blessed in the Monday dedication, because St. Joseph is a model of peace and peace is the motto of all Benedictines.
"The St. Joseph icon invites staff, visitors and patients alike to pause and reflect upon his life of dedication," said Tom Prusak, chief executive officer at SJMC. "It reminds all who enter St. Joseph's Medical Center there is more guiding the medical center than meets the eye."
The icon, a 2 foot by 3 foot replica of St. Joseph, was dedicated Monday because it was the day people celebrate the feast of St. Joseph, said Prusak.
The icon is made of wood and is layered with paint. The colors on the icon have specific meanings -- red represents the earth, blue is the heavens and white is purity. The icon is rooted in scriptures, traditions and church law. The images are the traditional art of the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Christian church in Eastern Europe, West Asia and North Africa. The world's oldest icons are preserved at the Monastery of St. Catherine at Mount Sinai in Egypt.
Sister McGough began painting icons 10 years ago and before that she was a wood cut artist and ceramic sculptor. She also designed the sculpture in the peace garden at SJMC.
"Her work is international," said Prusak. "She also did an icon at St. Andrew's (Catholic Church in Brainerd.)"
The icon is on the wall outside the chapel and is placed above a low-maintenance fountain. The brick planters that were in front of the chapel were taken out and new doors will be installed. The new doors will be carved with olive branches, doves and a scripture that reads, "Peace to you." Sister McGough is also carving the doors. On the other side of the doors will be a cross.
Prusak said a donation from the medical center was granted for the creation of the icon.
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